It's Time to Check Your Social Security Statement Online

March 2016

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), checking your Social Security statement annually is something all working adults should do. An annual review allows you to check the accuracy of your earnings recorded for the previous year and gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes that may have been recorded on your statement. Each statement also estimates the monthly Social Security payment you can expect in retirement based upon your current average earnings and planned retirement age. Having access to these various estimates can help you with your retirement planning. With all of this information at your fingertips, it makes sense to start checking your annual Social Security statement early in your working career, rather than waiting until you near retirement. If you don’t check your Social Security statement regularly, now is a good time to start!

Why Check Your Statement Online?

Establishing an online Social Security account is easy and secure. The SSA no longer sends out annual Social Security statements to every worker – a change that has been in effect since 2011. If you don’t have an online account, the SSA sends a paper statement every five years, starting with three months before your 25th birthday and then every five years thereafter until you reach age 60, or signup for online statements.

Having an online Social Security account allows you access to your statement 24/7 and gives you the opportunity to manage your account to ensure your personal information and facts reports are up-to-date and correct. Once you start receiving Social Security, you can sign up for or change direct deposit, apply for a new Medicare card, and manage other aspects of your account.

Sign up for Social Security Account Online

  • Review statement since paper statements are now sent once every 5 years
  • Manage your account online
  • Site has other useful tools such as the Retirement Estimator

Check Out the Sign Up Process on the Social Security Website.

Signing up for a Social Security statement is not difficult. However, because the SSA takes several steps to verify your personal information and protect your identity, we recommend that you review the Questions & Answers about the process on the My Account page in advance. Clicking this link will give you a better idea of what you need before you begin the sign up process. To get you started, be sure to have your Social Security number and last year’s W-2(s) or earnings listed on your tax return (if you are self-employed) on hand. Also, be ready to answer questions about your financial history—the SSA typically uses information from your credit report such as past employers and past residential addresses. Be sure to create a unique user name and password for your account and keep it in a secure place such as with your tax records.

To ensure your protection, you can only enroll yourself. You are not allowed to sign up for a spouse or any other individual, even if that individual has given you written permission.

Sign Up for Your Account

When you have your information ready, use this online form to sign up.

If you do not wish to sign up online or have difficulty doing so, you can also go to a Social Security Administration office. To locate your nearest office, use the online Social Security Office Locator.

Explore the Tools Offered by the Social Security Website

The Social Security website is full of resources for you to explore and use. Beyond using the website to create your personal account and review your statement, you can find other easy-to-use tools such as the Retirement Estimator, a tool that can help you consider how to best use Social Security as part of your retirement plan. Even more, you can apply for retirement or disability benefits, and start receiving your Social Security payments. If you need a Benefit Verification Letter, there is a button on the homepage that will direct you to that information.

Social Security and Medicare are benefits that you are earning and have earned through dedicated payroll taxes (and self-employment taxes for the self-employed). Take a moment and explore what the Social Security website offers to help you get the information and services you need when you need them.

For More Information

Go to the Social Security Administration home page

 

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